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North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant

Wastewater treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater collected from homes through the sanitary sewer system. On the North Shore, primary treatment has been done at the Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant, located under the Lions Gate bridge, for the last 55 years. Primary treatment is mainly a mechanical process that removes between 30 and 40 per cent of waste. Secondary treatment is a biological process that removes up to 90 percent of waste before the effluent is released into the ocean.

In 2012, the federal government announced new regulations that require Canadian wastewater treatment facilities to provide secondary treatment by 2020.

Planning for a new treatment facility, the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant, has been underway for several years and will be completed by the end of 2020, in time to meet the new federal regulations.

Environmental benefits

  • cleaner discharge will support a cleaner water body and marine ecosystem.
  • odour-free facility
  • disinfection of reclaimed water will use ultra-violet light and sodium hypochlorite, not chlorine gas


  • the new facility will be located in District of North Vancouver on lands owned by Metro Vancouver, at 1311 West 1st Street
  • the current treatment plant will be decommissioned in 2021 and turned over to Squamish Nation, on whose land it is located.


  • the estimated cost to build the new plant is $700 million.
  • the governments of Canada and British Columbia are providing $405 million.
  • the remaining $295 million will be borne by Metro Vancouver.

All Metro Vancouver communities contribute to capital costs of upgrading regional wastewater treatment facilities, which protect the environment and human health. The capital costs will be allocated as follows:

  • 50%  across the entire region (including the North Shore)
  • 50% by the North Shore communities using the new facilities

Once complete, North Shore users will pay 100 per cent of the operating costs.

The impact on your utility bill

The impacts to residents will be determined soon. The funding sources were announced in March 2017. Staff will now develop rate models and hold information meetings in fall 2017 to share the information with the public. Residents can expect to see charges for this project on their utility bills in 2018.

More Information

Visit Metro Vancouver’s website for more information on the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Metro Vancouver - Why build a new wastewater treatment plant?